The National Academies: What You Need to Know About the World Around You

The National Academies

What You Need to Know About the World Around You

The Keck Center of the National Academies

About this Series

“What You Need to Know About…” is a series of informational booklets and websites designed to engage readers in current topics in science, engineering, and medicine. These materials provide accurate information about complex issues that affect us as individuals and as a nation. Sound knowledge about such issues is critical if citizens are to evaluate debates and make informed decisions in our increasingly technological world.

The content in the series is distilled from reports and studies of the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, as well as other authoritative sources. The relevant reports and studies are included in the Source Library for each topic, linked to from every page on the site.

Who We Are

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. We produce groundbreaking reports that have helped shape sound policies, inform public opinion, and advance the pursuit of science, engineering, and medicine. Over many decades, our institution has distinguished itself as the nation's premier source of independent, expert advice on scientific, engineering, and medical issues.

Complementary Materials

The websites for each topic are complemented by additional materials that present similar content in diverse formats, including printed booklets, PDFs, and audio and video podcasts.

What You Need to Know About Energy

What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need to Know About Climate Change

Coming soon!

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